As per the study, cases of reinfection can only be confirmed with the help of genome analysis of the virus sample. Given that the virus continues to mutate, scientists believe that the genome sequences of the two samples would show some differences.
However, the study conducted by ICMR did not resort to genome sequencing due to a lack of genome samples data. Dr Samiran Panda, head, epidemiology and communicable diseases, ICMR, one of the authors of the study said, “The reinfection cases were earlier confirmed by only genome sequencing for which we need specific infrastructure, which may not be available everywhere. With the new definition, we can easily tab reinfection cases in India.”
The scientists involved in the study instead relied on evaluating those patients who had reported getting reinfected with the virus for the second time after an interval of more than 102 days.
For a more reliable finding, the scientists took only those cases of reinfection into consideration in which individuals had tested positive for COVID twice during the period of 102 days, but had also tested negative once in between.
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